I'm finishing Genesis 3 tonight.
22 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"-- 23 therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Not very many lines, but such implications. First of all, here is another "us" being used by the Lord God to describe ... themselves. Thirdly (I'll talk about the chronologically second issue last), there is a description of a flaming sword blocking the garden. And I wonder, why block the garden? Why not just destroy it, or hide it? Because, eventually, God did that, if the garden ever existed. And we know that He did because there is no flaming sword in the middle east guarding the entrance to anything today. The garden is gone, not guarded.
But those are minor points. Most importantly, there is this talk of a "tree of life." Why didn't I hear about this in Sunday school? A tree of life, that if man eats, man will live forever? I'd never heard of such a thing.
How long was Adam in the garden? And why did he never eat from the tree of life? He was not forbidden to eat of it. God only forbade eating of the tree of knowledge, that made man know good from evil. (Genesis 2:17) After the fall, why did God not want Adam to live forever? Is not eternal life the gift that Christ later brings to us? If God wanted to change his promise, why change back 1,000 years later? If God meant for us to have eternal life, why not open the path to the promised fruit of the tree of life? Why make us go through three millennia of struggle, and faith, and work, and doubt, and suffering, when we could just have eaten the fruit of the tree that God promised us in Genesis 1:29? This makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. I have trouble believing that this is true, literally (for example, what would have happened if man had eaten of the tree of life first, to live forever, and only then sampled the fruit of the tree of knowledge, so as to die that day?) But worse, I can't even accept that this is true figuratively.